The common misperception with most incentive/motivation/recognition programs is that it is always about money. While every one of our staff has economic requirements, when it comes to retention, you can't buy their love so to speak. It is one component in the package — not the entire package. In fact, recent studies show that money as the only incentive or reward is not as effective as it has been in the past for a variety of reasons. Workers in the United States rarely rate it higher than fourth on a scale of 1 to 10.

Bob Nelson, the author of “The 1001 Rewards and Recognition Fieldbook” cites that 58 percent of workers surveyed said they would leave to work elsewhere for a slight increase in pay. Hmmm…you might be thinking “Ah-ha! It is about the money.” No. It is about the package. It is about whether your staff is happy where they work. If they are not happy, you bet they will leave for slightly more pay. If they are happy, they will probably stay with even slightly less pay. That will have a profound affect on your staff, your members' experience and your bottom line. If members get to know the faces of your staff, they will stay members because they feel part of your club's “family.”

Most organizations have some sort of staff recognition system. Now is an excellent time to assess yours and determine how to make it an asset of your organization.

There are numerous ways to recognize and reward your staff for a job well done that range from simple to extravagant. Before you jump into the myriad of incentives that are available, consider the simplicity of assessing your work environment with the four points mentioned above as a starting point in “Assess Your Work Environment.”

Karen D. Woodard-Chavez is president of Premium Performance Training in Boulder, CO and can be found on the web at www.karenwoodward.com.

Assess Your Work Environment

  • Recognition Committee

    The purpose of this committee is to be an outreach tool for the entire staff to understand what means the most in terms of recognition and reward to the people who are working in your organization. The committee also seeks out creative ways to reward staff. The committee does not necessarily determine who gets recognized or rewarded (they can), instead they become the perspective of reality as well as the champions of the program.

  • Management Assessment

    People work for people, not organizations. Are your managers, department heads, etc. creating environments that are high self-esteem environments? Are they communicating the necessary information in the most appropriate ways? Do they understand the vision, mission and core values of the organization? If staff feels that they have a good boss, they often feel that they have a good job.

  • Crystal Clear Communication Values

    Does everyone in your organization feel comfortable communicating to the people they need to communicate to or is there too much indirect communication? If you have young staff, have you taken the time to teach them how to communicate professionally and directly?

  • Measure the Growth

    I encourage you to do a survey to determine how your staff feels about the work environment in your organization as soon as possible. After you review the survey, determine what steps you need to take to enhance your work environment and implement them. Then, measure your growth by taking another survey in three months.